SG Remarks with Prime Minister at event marking 5th Anniversary of the tragic events in Kyrgyzstan

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11 Jun 2015

SG Remarks with Prime Minister at event marking 5th Anniversary of the tragic events in Kyrgyzstan

OSH, Kyrgyzstan
Today, we meet in a lively city. But five short years ago, Osh was the scene of tragic events that shocked Kyrgyzstan and the international community.

I was in Kyrgyzstan in April 2010 and felt the rising tensions at that time.

By June, inter-ethnic strife erupted into a conflict that left hundreds dead, thousands injured, and an entire country traumatized.

It led to massive destruction of property and some 400,000 people fled their homes.

I acknowledge the efforts of Kyrgyz authorities to tackle the many challenges.

But foremost in my mind today are my deepest feelings of regret and solidarity for the victims and their relatives, in particular women and children, still waiting for justice.

My thoughts are also with those who have been jailed – some convicted to life imprisonment – after trials marred by allegations of violations of fair trial standards and torture.

I also want to salute the human rights defenders working relentlessly on these issues.

In the wake of the clashes, the United Nations supported the interim Government in conducting a constitutional referendum, and subsequent elections.

President Almazbek Atambaev succeeded President Roza Otunbaeva in an inspiring example of peaceful transfer of power in Central Asia.

The United Nations launched a global appeal that raised nearly $70 million for humanitarian assistance. Our Peacebuilding Fund began longer-term stabilization work – helping to rebuild houses and schools and providing psychological support to the victims of clashes, especially women and girls.

Much more must be done – requiring the support of Kyrgyzstan’s leadership and all Kyrgyz people.

I am particularly pleased that these issues are reflected in the National Strategy for Sustainable Development, initiated by President Atambaev.

I am encouraged by the recognition of women’s prominent role.

But I remain concerned by the pace of a meaningful reconciliation process that addresses root causes and meets rights to truth and justice.

I strongly encourage the authorities to take four important steps.

First, fully and impartially investigate all human rights violations related to the June 2010 ethnic conflict, irrespective of the ethnic origin or status of the accused perpetrators or victims.

Second, prosecute all those responsible for serious crimes.

Third, review all convictions that have been tainted by allegations of torture or other procedural violations.

Fourth, do more to promote inter-ethnic reconciliation through a transitional justice process, including reparations for victims, working with civil society.

We meet in the shadow of the sacred mountain Sulaiman-Too, recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

For centuries, this mountain has represented the peaceful co-existence of peoples from many ethnicities, faiths and cultures in the Ferghana Valley.

Today, let it serve as a shining symbol of peace, unity and friendship for generations to come.

Thank you. Chong Rakhmat.